Projects worth R263 million on rail in Western Cape
PASSENGER Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa,) CEO, Mosengwa Mofi, announced that the Western Cape Province will see projects worth R263 million that will revive the railway sector. He was addressing officials from the City of Cape Town, public members, the media and officials representing the Provincial Government of the Western Cape, and setting out Prasa’s plans for improvement.
Currently, key challenges facing Metrorail are ageing rolling stock, theft and vandalism, high levels of required maintenance and out of date railway and infrastructure technology in the province. It is therefore for this reason the company is taking first steps to dealing with this situation. Of the R263million, R130m will go toward infrastructure replacement, R124m to assist with technology, electrical and facility upgrades in Philippi, Langa, Heideveld and Athlone stations.
The remaining R9m would go to fencing critical hotspot areas. Dubbed the ‘Coalition of the Willing’, Mofi mentioned that crucial support has been pledged by Provincial Transport MEC Robin Carlisle, the police, organized labour and businesses. Carlisle’s department has contributed R4.5million for fencing of priority areas.
Metrorail has employed 200 security guards since February and 16 new trains of 12 coaches each were currently undergoing tests before being put on the rails. Between now and the end of this financial year, 2012/2013, 1095 coaches will be refurbished, involving the installation of 15 400 new windows. For the central line from Cape Town to Chris Hani and Mitchells Plein, 33 new trains would be rolled out by 2015.